Flora paid for the drinks, then left the bar. She spoke with the grass, dirt, flowers, trees. “Where has Pahana gone?” A trail of white only Flora could see formed along the ground. She followed it.
Pahana stood before the remains of his house. Fauna felt the heartbreak in his veins, the aching of his heart, the tears of his soul. “Pahana?”
He turned as he wiped away his tears. “Flora?”
Flora’s fingers touched his cheek, his tears. “Show me where they rest, please.”
Pahana led Flora to a mass gravesite at the edge of town. A dozen fresh graves were there, unmarked. He stopped before three of the graves. “My daughter. My son. My wife.” He slowly sank to his knees. He didn’t cry. Flora knew he’d run out of tears in that place. All he could do was kneel before the graves, and pray someday he could feel anything other than empty.
She placed a hand on his shoulder, “Thank you.” She spoke with the ground, the grass, the trees, the flowers. Pahana watched as green grass sprouted around the graves. At the head of each, a rose-bush grew. Deep red for his wife, peach for his daughter, yellow for his son.
Pahana stood. “Thank you.”
Flora smiled, touched his cheek once more. “Tell me, my friend, are there still angels here?”
“Tell me where they are.”
He took her hand, and guided her through the town, to the home of the mayor. “They took over everything.”
She smiled, touched his cheek once more, “Go someplace safe. Tell everyone you can to hide someplace safe.”
“What are you going to do?”
Flora said nothing. Pahana looked at her, into her eyes. He saw fire. Burning, white-hot fire.
“Be safe, Flora. Please.” Pahana left, running from house to house, telling people the fairy Flora was here to save them from the angels. “Get somewhere safe!”
Flora called on the wild magic. She knew it was the machines of her world, of Cylinders. The ubiquitous machines flowing in the blood of everyone, in the air, the water, the trees. She still called it the wild magic. She couldn’t begin to understand the machines, their sciences, their technology. But she could understand wild magic. Especially her wild magic.
Vines grew, came alive, gathered around her. A vine crossed the ground to the door of the house. It grew between the door, and frame, unlocked the door. The door swung open, silently. Flora entered the house, the vines surrounded her, protected her.
She moved room to room, searching for the angels. They’d gathered the beds of the house, the chairs, the tables, in one room. They slept there, draped across everything. They had no guards. They were angels. No one would attack them.
Flora spoke to the wild magic. The vines spread rapidly through the room, twisting around each angel, binding hands, feet and wings. No angle was free. The vines trapped them all. She spoke to the wild magic again.
The vines erupted in flames.
The angels burned.
Flora watched them die. “For Pahana. For his family.” She walked among the dead angels. “For my sister.”
She walked from the home, still surrounded by vines. Outside, the vines spread until the house was no longer visible. She heard the sound of wooden beams splintering. The vines crushed the house, consumed it, turned it, and everything in it, back to dirt.
The fire in her eyes never wavered, never faded. “The angels want a war.” She spread her wings, “Then they shall have a war.” Her wings tore into the air as she took flight. She used the wild magic to guide her as she headed toward her mother’s side.
It was time to stop the angels.
Time to stop the madness.
“There must be no more families like Pahana’s.”